Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

May 2008: Signs of the Spirit

may 2008 grace flyer

Six large sealed cardboard boxes are arranged around the worship area.

cynical by default by Cheryl Lawrie.

Song; Come Holy Spirit by Grace


Participants explored six stations exploring signs of the Spirit. Each station invited reflection about what each sign reveals about the Spirit.The stations were;


A barbecue set up outside. Invitation to write on paper something about the aspect of your life you least want to open to God, and allow the paper to be consumed in the flames.


Jug of water and glasses. Reflection on the refreshing qualities of water.

light and cloud

Room filled with smoke from a smoke machine. Reflection on the transfiguration.


Origami and reflection on Jesus's baptism.

As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.

Matthew 3:16
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

Matthew 10:16
After 40 days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.

Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all of the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark.

He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf.

Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.

Genesis 8:6-11

is innocence a blank sheet of paper?

guiltless, blameless, in the clear, unimpeachable, irreproachable, above suspicion, faultless, honourable, honest, upright, law-abiding, squeaky clean, harmless, innocuous, safe, inoffensive, virtuous, pure, moral, decent, righteous, upright, wholesome, demure, modest, chaste, virginal, impeccable, spotless, sinless, unsullied, incorrupt, undefiled, whiter than white, free from, without, lacking, clear of, ignorant of, unaware of, untouched by, ingenuous, trusting, credulous, unsuspicious, unwary, unguarded, impressionable, gullible, easily led, inexperienced, unworldly, unsophisticated, green, simple, artless, guileless, wet behind the ears, born yesterday

Oxford Thesaurus

We live in a culture which prefers experience to innocence. Innocence in an adult, at least is seen as a mark of cowardice or weakness. Innocence means you don't know your way around. Innocence means you haven't been tested. Innocence means you can't handle the consequences. Innocence means you accept someone else's rules about what you can and cannot do.

But innocence is also about remaining unharmed, undamaged. Eat the apple, said the snake in the Garden of Eden, and you'll have knowledge of good and evil. Somehow he failed to mention that knowledge of good and evil comes with the cost of harm from the evil. The tempters in our gardens still fail to mention that.

Take a sheet of paper. Follow the instructions to make an origami dove. As you make each fold, consider the creases in your life - the experiences and actions which shaped you, whether good or bad. Ask the Holy Spirit to unfold those creases which come from harm. Thank God for the creases that come from good. Ask God to fold your life, as the Spirit folded Jesus's life.


Sit on a mat with fans all around.


Reflection on call and anointing of David. Opportunity to anoint each other with oil.


Once upon a time you gave us the gifts of the Spirit.
We were amazed, and displayed them proudly for our guests to see.
Then we moved house a couple of times.
We took the gifts with us, but they didn't have pride of place any more.
Maybe they were dusty, or out of place in our new surroundings.

So we put them away in boxes - for safekeeping, but no longer for display.
They went in the attic, or under the stairs, and the boxes weren't labelled properly,
so now we don't quite know where they are or what each box contains.

What would we do if you came round unexpectedly?

Father, forgive us for putting your Spirit in boxes, for treating it as ornamental and then forgetting it.
Forgive us for being afraid of what might happen if we open the boxes.
Forgive us for fearing your power but forgetting your love.
Help us to reopen your gifts in our lives.


After the confession, each cardboard box was opened to reveal a sign of the spirit, corresponding to one of the stations.


Like the Wind (Alternative Worship p.106)



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Fire. © Dean Ayres

Dove. © Dean Ayres

Dove. © Dean Ayres

Wind. © Dean Ayres

Wind. © Dean Ayres

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